Thirteen years ago, pretty much no one though there was any common ground between country music and hip-hop.
Then Bubba Sparxxx came along.
With his 2001 album "Dark Days, Bright Nights," Sparxxx helped introduce the world to country rap, which has come to be more popularly known as hick-hop. Sparxxx and Colt Ford have been among the most prominent proponents of the genre, but lots of traditional country artists, including Toby Keith, the Bellamy Brothers and Neal McCoy have also ventured into country rap.
For those of who think the original's still the greatest, Bubba Sparxxx will be in Sarasota this weekend, performing on Saturday at the Cabana Inn.
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Sparxxx is probably most widely known for his early singles "Deliverance," "Ugly" and a dance-oriented collaboration with the Yin Yang Twins, "Ms. New Booty." His music has usually scored bigger with hip-hop audiences, though his records have reached the upper echelons of the country charts, and he attracts dance music fans as well.
Sparxxx took a break from music, but he's back now. He released a new album, "Made on McCosh Mill Road," in June.
There are only 200 seats in the room he's playing in Sarasota, so the show will probably sell out.
Details: 9 p.m. Sept. 20, Cabana Inn, 2525 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $15 advance, $20 day of show. Information: 941- 955-0195, facebook.com/cabanainnsrq.
-- Marty Clear